Houston - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's tennis team had a good showing as freshman Mirna Cicak beat the #26 ranked player in the NCAA Division I rankings, Julie Chao of Rice.
The Islanders competed in a close match but fell 5-2 to the Rice Owls in their match at the Galleria Tennis Club on Satruday afternoon. The Islanders go to 0-1 on the season while the Owls improve to 2-0 on the year.
In #1 singles, Cicak faced off against Chao, who came into the matched as the #26 rated player in the nation, and started the singles matches strongly for the Islanders, beating her 7-5; 7-6. It was the highest ranked opponent ever beaten by an Islander in the program's history.
"I really salute Mirna for what she did in her first collegiate match of her career." said Moore. "I'm so proud of her and of all the girls and the character they showed out there today."
In addition to Cicak's victory, Erika Iriarte won the #5 singles match against Emily Braid in straight sets by a score of 6-1; 6-4.
In the #2 singles, Ana Guzman of Rice beat Nadia Filmalter of TAMUCC 6-0; 6-3. In the #3 singles match, Jessica Jackson of the Owls defeated Islander player Nina Ciric 6-4; 6-0.
#4 singles saw Varcha Shiva-Shankar of Rice down Fabiana Mersan of TAMUCC by a 6-0; 6-3 score. In the final singles match of the day, Alex Rasch of Rice took a straight sets victory over Alexandra Dyckman by a 6-2; 6-2 score.
"I loved the effort given out there today." said Moore. "They competed well out there against tough competition."
Earlier in the day, the doubles matches saw Chao and Guzman of Rice beat Cicak and Filmalter of TAMUCC by an 8-0 margin. In the #2 doubles, Shiva-Shankar and Jessica Jackson of Rice defeated Ciric and Megan Harless of the Islanders by a slim 8-6 margin.
In the final doubles match of the session, Braid and Rasch of Rice finished with an 8-5 win over Iriarte and Dyckman of TAMUCC.
"We played a great match against an exceptional team." said Islander Director of Tennis Steve Moore. "It was a hard fought match and I loved the effort from the girls today."
The Islanders next match is against Central Arkansas in Dallas on Feb. 1 at 1 PM.
1. Mirna Cicak (TAMUCC) def. Julie Chao (RICE) 7-5, 7-6
2. Ana Guzman (RICE) def. Nadia Filmalter (TAMUCC) 6-0, 6-3
3. Jessica Jackson (RICE) def. Nina Ciric (TAMUCC) 6-4, 6-0
4. Varsha Shiva-Shankar (RICE) def. Fabiana Mersan (TAMUCC) 6-1, 6-1
5. Erika Iriarte (TAMUCC) def. Emily Braid (RICE) 6-0, 6-3
6. Alex Rasch (RICE) def. Alexandra Dyckman (TAMUCC) 6-2, 6-2
1. Julie Chao/Ana Guzman (RICE) def. Mirna Cicak/Nadia Filmalter (TAMUCC) 8-0
2. Varsha Shiva-Shankar/Jessica Jackson (RICE) def. Nina Ciric/Megan Harless (TAMUCC) 8-63. Emily Braid/Alex Rasch (RICE) def. Erika Iriarte/Alexandra Dyckman (TAMUCC) 8-5